Short programs, most of which require 2 or 3 years of study, are abundant in the areas of business, manufacturing, and services. Many short programs are offered in multidisciplinary institutes affiliated with universities or specialized schools.
Because the curriculum always includes at least one internship with a commercial enterprise, short programs offer a practical, relevant introduction to the job market. Most short programs are highly selective in their admissions.
The brevet de technicien supérieur (BTS)
Offered in the upper technical sections (STS) of vocational secondary schools, BTS programs require 2 years of study (120 ECTS credits). They are designed to train middle managers in one of 145 defined specialties. Upon graduation, more than 30% of students continue their higher education at a university, engineering school, or business school.
The diplôme universitaire de technologie (DUT)
The DUT is awarded by France's 116 IUTs—university-based institutes of technology. Designed to train mid-level technical personnel in 2 years, IUT programs also allow graduates to continue on for a more advanced degree, such as a licence professionnelle. In fact, about 80% of IUT graduates do just that.
The diplôme d'études universitaires scientifiques et techniques (DEUST)
The DEUST is a career-oriented degree offered in 2-year university programs. Each of the 80-odd DEUST specialties is very specific, having been created in response to local labor-market needs. The curriculum of DEUST programs is often designed in consultation with employers and local governments. Practicing professionals carry a share of the teaching load. Graduates may continue on for another degree; the licence professionnelle is the most common choice.
The licence professionnelle
The licence professionnelle degree is granted after 1 year of further study to students who had already successfully completed 2 years of postsecondary study. The content of the vast array of licence professionnelle programs is determined by partnerships of universities, employers, and professional associations. The teaching faculty includes many active professionals. The licence professionnelle is one of the best French degrees for individuals hoping to find a job immediately after graduation.